Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Musings

As I sit here, getting ready to watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," I realize it has been quite an October.  Lots of planning for Halloween only to have to take most of it down before Hurricane Sandy came through.  We were lucky and I was able to re-decorate a bit...but really so lucky - many people got it much much worse.

We also moved into our new home on Halloween last year.  It's crazy to me that we have already lived here a whole year in our own home.  We've been busy making it our own:

  This is the set up after the storm.  I created MANY more gravestones, but wanted to set up less the second time around.  Here are a few more pics of the finished cemetary:


I was also busy with some indoor decorations.  We bought one of those glowing eyes that make noise that you hide in the bushes.  Well, we did something a little different with it:

And here it is in action:

As for costumes.  I found this "lovely" rose colored bridesmaid dress at the Salvation Army that totally fit like it was made for I destroyed it and destroyed one of my husbands old suits to create "Ghoul Prom King and Queen"

Here are the pieces:

And a few sad pics of us in costume.  I totally got so wrapped up in the party that I didn't take many pictures:

And the cheesy "Prom" pic:

We had a great party and another successful Halloween despite the weather.  I hope everyone had a good holiday and are healthy and safe...and those of you that felt the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, you are in our thoughts and prayers!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Happy Haunting

So the weather here in New England has not been real conducive to outdoor crafting. I had BIG plans to get some Halloween decorations made...and I did get some done...but not nearly as much as I would have liked.  Foam grave stones are so much easier to carve and sand outside, so I only started them, hoping to get them done during the week.

...and then it rained like every day....

But it was beautiful for a good portion of today so I was able to get quite a bit done and I now have some nearly finished grave stones.

Let's back track to last weekend.  I had done a bunch of research online as to what was the best way to make grave decorations for our yard.  The pre-made ones you can get at a Halloween or craft store are too expensive, often to small, and usually made out of cheap-o materials.  I figured, hey, I'm crafty, why not try making my own.

Research began and wow!  There are so many talented people out there creating amazing graves and other Halloween decorations.  Mine won't even come close...but I did get a lot of great ideas and suggestions for materials.  I would have been lost without several sites...if you are ever interested in creating your own 'graveyard' I suggest you check out here, here, and here.  REALLY amazing stuff so check them out.

I started off easy and made my ghosts first.  Remember by inspiration...well here are how mine came out:

Maybe a teeny bit creepier..but I love the skulls showing through!

Next I tackled the pink foam and cut it into the basic shapes for my graves.  I didn't get enough pictures of the process...but after they were cut, I rounded edged and other details with a hotwire.

After that came the fun part...deciding what to write on them.  I came up with a few, printed them out and then transferred them to the 'stones' by tracing over them with pencil to leave an imprint that I then went over with Sharpie.

That was my weekend...during the week I worked on cutting out the letters.  I used a wood burner to create the outlines and then a dremel tool to carve in everything deeper.  It took some practice and they are by no means perfect, but here is the outcome:

 The lettering came out great...but they all still looked like pink pieces of foam.  I needed to sand them to round the edges so that they looked more stone-like.  I also had read on this site about 'warping' the stones using a flame.  You hold it close to the foam and it melts it a bit, giving the 'stones' a really aged look.

You can kind of see it in these pictures.  I also started painting the letters in.  Again, I need to be better about taking progress pictures:

Those spots that look dirty?  That is the doesn't look like much here, but it really added to the stones once I painted them.

And painting them was FUN.  I used gray latex paint...whatever was the cheapest I could find and I mixed sand into it so that the texture felt more stone-like.  Initially I thought I would use spray paint to have it go faster but apparently spray paint EATS foam!  Thank you internets for the warning.

So here is the nearly finished product.  I just need to paint the backs and add a bit more 'age' with some watered down green and black paint:


Sorry about the litter box in the background.  Once we set up the graveyard in the front yard, you will get to see them in their true glory! I'm really pleased with the outcome and have a few more lined up to be can see I still have some foam left.

Happy Haunting!